MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - After 62 years of racing, the 2020 season could be the last for the Myrtle Beach Speedway.
Myrtle Beach Speedway owner Bob Lutz said developers have been interested in the property for a while. However, before the property is officially sold it must be rezoned for commercial and residential development.
This week, Lutz submitted a rezoning request or the nearly 46-acre site to Horry County Government.
The racetrack has played host to some of NASCAR’s biggest names such as Petty, Earnhardt and Gordon, but like many smaller tracks across the country, they just don’t pull in the crowds or profit like they once did.
“We’ve been getting complaints since the beginning of Myrtle Beach Speedway as people started building around it regarding noise and things like that so I think with the local residents around it they’ll be pretty happy with this deal,” said Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught.
The application submitted to the county states that the proposed uses for the property include a hotel, townhouses, medical offices, senior living space and warehouse storage.
Retail or office space would also be on the site, according to the application.
“Racing fans will not be as happy about it,” said Vaught.
Despite an uncertain future, Myrtle Beach Speedway General Manager Steve Zacharias said it’s business as usual as they prepare to host their first race in nearly two months next Saturday, May 23.
“It is a weird business and tough to explain the financials of it, it’s unlike anything else. It toes the fine line of a financial gain every week,” said Zacharias.
Vaught said it could be sometime in July or August before the rezoning plans even make it in front of Horry County Council, which then must go through three readings to be approved.
In the meantime, Zacharias said they’ve still got a full summer calendar.
“We’ve been putting on a show for the last nine years and hopefully for the rest of 2020 we’ll be able to put on one heck of a show and go out with a bang,” said Zacharias.
As race fans, both Vaught and Zacharias said they’d be sad to see the racetrack close but understand business is business.
“I totally understand the owner selling they’ve got an interested buyer who will rezone it and hopefully it’ll be a nice development back there,” said Vaught.
Lutz said he would like to host some type of farewell racing event if the race track were to be sold and torn down.
Horry County Planning and Zoning Director David Schwerd said the county is reviewing the application and it’s scheduled to go before the planning commission in July.